tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 13, 2016 8:30pm-9:01pm PST
russia saying today, quote, when one day there is a full accounting of the horrors committed in this assault of al aleppo, and that day will come, sooner or later you will not be able to say you did not know what was happening. that is our broadcast for this tuesday night. thank you for being here with us. "hardball" with chris matthews begins right now. i'm an oil man. let's play hard balball. ♪ ♪ good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. huge nknewes this morning and bigger news tonight. starting with exxon ceo rex tillerson to the remere cabinet position secretary of state. how much trouble will this cause? our country's top foreign policy
officer, man so cozy with vladimir putin, will they? speaking of cozy, new york times reporting tonight that a moscow hacker calling itself cozy bear, like the russian bear, las been hacking into the democratic national committee for months and enjoying hacking going back to september of last year and in the direction of donald trump by fellow hacker fancy bear, the one connected to russian military intelligence. why didn't the fbi tell the country this was going on last september and why did donald trump deny the russians were doing the tracking and why didn't the white house blow the whistle on the hacking in if the irs place? cozy bear was going after the white house as well bp so we begin with the news about secretary of state. after weeks of public auditions that took on the air of reality tv donald trump has made his pick. in the end it wasn't rudy giuliani as loyal defender or mitt romney who trump had taken to dinner or general petraeus or john bolton, thank god. the rose went to rex tillerson.
now the drama moves to capitol hill. ties to vladimir putin raised alarms among democrats and top republicans. he is n senator marco rubio says i have serious concerns about the nomination. there are many questions which must be answered. i expect the relationship to be front and center in his confirmation process. here with senator john mccain yesterday. >> i also, as a hundred of us, have to exercise our best judgment, but when it gets to the friendship award from a butcher, frankly, it's an issue that i think need to be examined. and again, that does not mean we should prejudge mr. tillerson. >> well, tillerson has heavyweight supporters, among condoleezza rice saying today he was an excellent choice for secretary of state. he will bring to the post remarkable and broad international experience. bob gates said i strongly endorse the president-elect's
selection of rex tillerson to be the next secretary of state. another voice of support for tillerson is former vice president and former ceo of halliburton, dick cheney. he said tillerson for secretary of state is an inspired choice. i've known rex for many years, both as ceo of exxon and as a personal friend. i'm confidence he will do a superb onin dealing with the difficult and complex list. a member of coforeign relations committee, thank god you're on that committee and what does dick cheney push? he is pushing a fellow oil guy, they've got their arms around tillerson already? what is going on? why does he have the love of cheney, the hawk? >> i hope he doesn't get a friendship award from dick cheney. that might be a problem. but i'm keeping an open mind on tillerson. i can't to know what his world
view is more than what he has traveled or who he knows. i think it may be overblown. he has made deals in many, many countries. i don't know that this means he is skiing and fishing with putin. they got some award. let's hear a little bit about what his world view is. does he believe in intervention ad nauseam in the middle east. does he believe in regime change. nation pulding. some things i have been encouraged about donald trump we haven't agreed on some things but i've been encouraged that he thinks that regime change in the middle east hasn't made us safer or more secure cure than he hasn't been for nation building regime change and i honestly believe he learned the lesson that iraq war didn't help us a. >> a country. >> i know who hasn't learned his lesson because of who he is essentially is john bolton. won't quit. his desire for power and to needle his way is relentless. the man nbc reports as, i love
this phrase, actually i hate it, some secretary of state add vericated for bombing iran. this is bolton. >> just as israel twice before has struck nuclear weapons programs in the hands of hostile states i'm afraid given the circumstances that's the only real option open us to now. >> right now or are you saying leading into the future? >> no, i would have done this five or six years ago. the earlier you strike the more damage can you do. >> unbelievable kcombination. in 2002 bolton pedalled bad information about the weapon's program. we are confident he said at the time that saddam hussein has hidden and production facilities in iraq. >> i was a member of george w. bush's administration.
he supported the iraq war. i course i supported the iraq war. i've written on the subject. some people would probably say endlessly about what the lessons are to be learned from it. i put it on the record. i've never headen my views from anybody and i absolutely don't back way from any of them. >> isn't it interesting that ones who back the iraq war also back going into libya and also back going into syria. they always have the next war they want us to fight. they push the button, another war comes out. they always want a new war and belton is classic. your thoughts? have to stop this guy if he gets in the door. >> this is why learning the historical lessons are important. this isn't the iraq war from 15 years ago or 14 years ago. we are worried about whether or not he learned the lesson from that war. but he didn't. he add vericated for regime change in libya. turned into chaos and isis became strengthened and i think we are more at risk now for terrorist attack for libya than before the war. he also advocated for regime
change in syria. as bad a guy as assad is, i don't know that that helped us because i think it created a power ak um has filled that vacuum. advocating for regime change in iran is a real problem because it shows this naive understanding of the world that he thinks oh, everything is going to be great. we're going to drop a few bombs. they will have a new government there. thomas jefferson will be elected and no more problems in iran. it didn't work out that way in iraq and i think iran is a bigger much stronger country that iraq ever was and i don't think he learned any of the lessons of the iraq war and he want to reinstitute a new war in iran. so no, i think this person john bolton should never have any position in the state department. i will vote no and i hope my vote will be the deciding vote to keep him out of the state department. >> maybe we put him out on point in the next conflict and he will change his mind. make him go out in front. senator, one last thought. do you think there is any possible that if we do have a
working relationship with putin in syria that somehow we can perhaps partition the country. put an area, just the area where they are very loyal to him, break up the country, give the soupi soup sunniies leadership so they can grab the country from isis? i don't see anything happening as long as al-assad is there. you think working with tillerson and working with putin might work some deal to get us to a closer place it peace? >> this is a very important question. even with regards it iraq as well, i think iraq has disintegrated into at least two countries, maybe two countries and civil war region. syria is the same way. will they ever be put back together? there are a lot of smart people who don't see the countries ever being put back together. the kurds are advocating for their own country. joe biden many years ago and he and i don't agree on everything but he did talk about dividing iraq probably 15 years ago.
turks ruled it from the empire with different prove ipss. so provinces. it should entertained. i think the the kurds fought the best and hardest. they seem to be good allies and friend of ours. i think they would do more for liberating us from isis if we were given weapons directly to them and not send weapons to baghdad. >> it ultimately worked in europe. we divided europe up and balkas and sometimes people live better divorced when they don't have to live with each other everyday. i hope we can stop bolton. this morning's trump's incoming chief of staff reasons priebus said tillerson is too close to putin. >> can somebody who has a friendship plaque in his office be tough on vladimir putin? >> rex tillerson is a tough guy. and you know what, at the astronauts, musicians, other
americans, canadians, a lot of folks have gotten this award. but the truth is that having relationships with people is not a bad thing. i don't know how we got to the place where having an actual functional relationship with someone who might not be a person that we first think of to have that relationship is suddenly a bad thing. >> senator chris murphy from connecticut and most importantly on foreign relations committee. i can't think of a better committee to be on right now senator. >> a lot of action right now. >> and what is the ratio of republicans to democrats? >> it is a two-vote majority for republicans. so if one republican on that committee votes against one of these nominees it is a deadlocked vote and the committee process, the vice president doesn't break the tie. >> so marco rubio is the man on the horse here. >> i think everyone will have a lot to say here. i don't know how these republicanes who have been viow vice rating president obama for being too soft on putin can turn
around and vote for a nominee who widely advertised as someone who has been an ali've putin and will be an all-eye of putin in the department of state. i don't know how you do that pivot on that committee. i would be surprised if lindsey graham and john mccain and marco rubio vote for tillerson because they have been consistent in their belief that the worst thing the trump administration could do is turn to this new additional reliant. >> you know this better than i do and i've heard this, who controls u.s. foreign policy region by region? ? i'm told it is the national security council. they meet with the president and in this case trump, and tell him or her everyday what's going on and that's what guides our policy. the bam bass dors carry out the policy. the regional and assistant secretaries carry out. is that true, or will it conceivably s be said in the state department? >> i think is different under each president. mr. bush in the defense
department and obama department, it's been controlled within the white house and been -- and the nse. i don't know what trump's structure will look like but you're right. we have largely outsourced foreign policy away from the department of state to the department of defense. whether that continues under trump, can't tell. >> how do you sigh the balancing act between, mad dog maddus and tillerson sb is it a hawk versus dove thing? what is going on there? >> the fact you see rice and gates wrapping their arms, dick cheney, wrapping their arms around tillerson -- >> they are all hawks. >> subject this guy may be more in their camp. >> can i ask you a question which gets to your mail. do you get a lot of push from the neocons, very hawkish people, are they pushing for tillerson? when i see names like condi and names like dick cheney involved, what are they up to? what do they want? >> yeah. i think they see him as a
friend. i think we have to ask what his views are on the issue that rand raised. but to the extent within hours of his nomination it gets these guys to -- >> would you put the block on john bolton for anything? >> john bolton would lead us back to war. i he can't be in the state department. >> i would love to hear that pap thank you. the scope and sophistication of russia's interference in our election. fbi knew the russians were behind the hack as early as september of 205. so why did it take a year for government to call russia out on it? that's next. and this is hard ball, the place for politics. place for politics. ball, the ple for politics. " the place for politics.
welcome back to "hardball." new york times is out with a detailed account of russia's attempt to interfere in the 2016 election by hurting hillary clinton's chances and tipping the election to donald trump. according to the times article, out tomorrow morning, fbi alerted the democratic national committee back in september of
2015 that quote at least one computer system belonging to the dnc had been compromised by hackers, federal investigators named the dukes. a cyber espionage team linked to the russian government. the report says quote the when key approach of the fbi meant russian hackers could roam freely through the network for seven months before top dnc officials were alerted to the eye tack and hired cyber experts to protect their systems. in the meantime they move owned to the mrs. clinton's campaign chairman whose private e-mail account was hacked months later. one of the reporters that broke this story for the times, eric lipton. thanks for coming on today. especially, when what i could get, but it bugged me, this i.t. at the dnc, got a call from the fbi that they were being hacked and just sat on it. then the fbi never gotten a taxi
or whatever and drove over to the dnc. only 15 or 20 minutes way. it was so weak. the failure of the dnc kid or whoever it was to bring the attention to the chair or the failure of the fbi to show any earnest in take caring of the matter. >> this has real consequence answers clearly the dnc i.t. guy did not take the threat seriously enough. the mostly because he first get's a telephone call that comes in to the front desk and gets passed to him and at first he doesn't believe he is speaking to an fbi agent because the fbi agent can't e-mail him because if he e-mails the i.t. guy he will reveal to the russian hacker that fbi is on to them. sew simply calls them and said look in your sift aenl tystem a. guy thinks it is a hoax.
the fbi guy keeps calling him again and again and again. it goes on for two or three months. and this drags on for months unfortunately. >> is this person, this i.t. guy, a political person? a political person would know this is very important. this would be -- this is hot stuff. that the russians are trying to get into your system. gis that's the hard part that someone wouldn't think it is politically frightening that you're getting hacked in the beginning of a presidential campaign. that that wasn't news. >> and there is multiple problems. first of all this is a not a cybersecurity guy but like the i.t. help guy. and the dnc did not have money to have a proper security team or at least hadn't budgeted the money for that. he is a consultant and he is a guy who got the phone call and he handled it. he fielded it. and the other problem was that, i mean, the fbi was not very
specific with the information. they didn't give them a great amount of detail it help them look within their server to find where the hackers were and dnc didn't have particularly advanced monitoring software that would allow them to detect it. when we spoke with experts who were hired and once they realized they were hacked they wondered why didn't the fbi walk over, they are a half mile away, knock on the door, call debbie wasserman schultz and say we see a problem here. and it is hard to understand, we are talking about the dnc helping run the presidential primaries and is involved in the 2016 campaign in a fundamental way. you would think that fbi would realize they need to elevate. >> i would think elevate from the ground up. let me ask you about the white house position. can you tell from your reporting when they got the word that this was going on, that there is real problem here with hacking from the russians of the democrats and that because in your piece you point out that they were trying to hack in or did hack into the white house system as
well. why didn't they go to war and say publicly the russians are, we are putting you on guard right now, on notice, stop this in its tracks or we are coming at you. why didn't they do that a year ago? >> it was not until the end of april that dnc finally formally confirmed they had malware on this system taen was compromised. june 16 it became public. they were waiting six weeks before it was out of their system before they became public pt the white house was more engaged starting in early summer and then began a series of deliberations to decide what should our response be. should we attribute it publicly to the russian answers if we attribute to the russians, should we take a retaliatory action, maybe anchors or something else to make it clear this is not an acceptable activity. they hesitated to do either of those things. it wasn't until october 7 that they put on a statement from the intelligence committee blaming russian answers they waited and
waited and waited. they didn't with a to be seen as tipping the scale in the election. >> thank you. eric lipton of the "new york times." when we return, we continue with trump watch. this is hard ball, a place for politics. we are very much hands-on producers. if my office... ...becomes a plane or an airport the surface pro's perfect. fast and portable but also light. you don't do this 14 hours a day, 7 days a week for... ...decades if you don't feel it in your heart. listen, i know my super power is to not ever sleep. that's it. that's the only super power i have.
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trump watch tuesday december 13th, 2016. i continue to hunt for the podium that pile of stuff on the barn floor. that's what ronald reagan would say about the boy on christmas morning, the optimistic one. this is what could happen with donald trump in the wlous and rex tillerson as secretary of state. would he could find our way out of horror in syria and end the killing by the assad, global danger of isis, have strong leadership along sunni arabs, desire for the kurds to have a country of their own.
removing assad from control in syria. the area loyal to him would alieu the sunni arabs to run the country and allow the kurds to make their own way. none of this is possible as long as assad fights to the death which if the russians hold fast to their alliance with him and i'm no middle east expert but can i see the obvious. we, the united states, led by obama and kerry are in a box. we can't get rid of assad or unite syria. how do you push isis off the land if you don't have someone to give it to? perhaps russia is the key. perhaps. but right now, we don't have a key. that's "hardball" for now. join us tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. eastern. see you then. these birds once affected by oil
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